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Nicole M. Joseph - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Nicole M. Joseph

Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education Teaching and Learning | Vanderbilt University


An expert in the barriers that Black women and girls face in the STEM field and STEM classroom.





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Faculty Profile: Nicole Joseph



Nicole M. Joseph is the founder of the Tennessee March for Black Women in STEM, an event held every fall which seeks to bring together the Tennessee community to raise awareness of the gendered racism, Black women and girls experience in STEM. Her research explores two lines of inquiry, (a) Black women and girls, their identity development, and their experiences in mathematics (b) Whiteness, White Supremacy and how it operates and shapes underrepresentation of Black women and girls in mathematics. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer. Her research has been featured in top-tier journals and she co-edited the book "Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power: White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in the Classroom" (Peter Lang Publishing). Her forthcoming book is "Mathematizing Feminism: Black Girls’ and Women’s Experiences in the P-20 Mathematics Pipelines" (Harvard Education Press).

Areas of Expertise (13)

Identity Development

White Supremacy

Gifted Education

Gender in Education

K-12 Education

Stem Careers

Black Women and Girls in STEM

Black Women and Girls in Mathematics


Black Girls and Schooling


Gifted Learners

Institutional Racism

Accomplishments (3)

Charles A. Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (professional)

Leadership Fellow

Charles A. Dana Center Convening at U of Texas Austin (professional)

Equity in Mathematics Pathways

American Education Research Association Scholars of Color Contribution (professional)

Early Career Award

Education (3)

University of Washington: Ph.D.

Pacific Oaks College Northwest: M.A.

Seattle University: B.A.

Selected Media Appearances (6)

Girls’ superb verbal skills may contribute to the gender gap in math



“Society still feels like girls are not as smart, or should not be in math,” says Nicole Joseph, a mathematics education expert at Vanderbilt University who was not involved in the study.

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5 Ways Society Sabotages Girls' Interest In Science And Math

Forbes  online


Dr. Nicole Joseph is an Assistant Professor of mathematics and science education at Vanderbilt University. She recently delivered a thought-provoking lecture at the University of Georgia-hosted workshop called "Navigating STEM." Her lecture inspired me to explore five reasons girls avoid entry into STEM-related fields.

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Keeping Girls in STEM: 3 Barriers, 3 Solutions

Edutopia  online


Additionally, research “has clearly [indicated] that black girls view themselves as outsiders in mathematics and teachers view them as outsiders,” says Nicole Joseph, assistant professor of mathematics and science education at Vanderbilt University. Joseph points to tracking in math, more common in middle and high school than in the humanities, as a key structure infused with bias that restricts access to rigorous math education for black students.

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15 Black Women Who Are Paving The Way In STEM And Breaking Barriers

Essence  online


“There is significant underrepresentation,” says Nicole M. Joseph, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the author of the upcoming book Mathematizing Feminism: Black Girls’ and Women’s Experiences in the P-20 Mathematics Pipelines. “We need to disrupt our own negative experiences that we had in school around mathematics…. We need to tell our girls that they can do math.”

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Nicole Joseph teaches math and advocates for educational opportunity

MY VU  online


At an early age, Nicole Joseph was identified for her aptitude in math. The outgoing Seattle native was one of only a handful of black students at her elementary school selected for advanced placement math classes.

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The Sistah Network Support Group at the University of Denver

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education  online


Nicole M. Joseph, an assistant professor in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, has developed the Sistah Network, an organization that acts as a support group for Black women graduate students at the university.

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Selected Articles (5)

Normalizing Black Girls' Humanity in Mathematics Classrooms

Harvard Educational Review

Nicole M Joseph, Meseret F Hailu, Jamaal Sharif Matthews

2019 In this article, Nicole Joseph, Meseret Hailu, and Jamaal Matthews argue that Black girls' oppression in the United States is largely related to the dehumanization of their personhood, which extends to various institutions, including secondary schools and, especially, mathematics classrooms.

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The sistah network: Enhancing the educational and social experiences of Black women in the academy

NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education

Evette L Allen, Nicole M Joseph

2018 The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of women in the Sistah Network, an affinity group at a predominantly White institution, with mentoring goals to enhance the educational and social experiences of Black women in master’s and doctoral programs and their mentors.

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A Review of Cases for Mathematics Teacher Educators: Facilitating Conversations About Inequities in Mathematics Classrooms

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

Nicole M Joseph, Christopher C Jett, Jacqueline Leonard

2018 This book review analyzes Cases for Mathematics Teacher Educators: Facilitating Conversations About Inequities in Mathematics Classrooms, edited by Dorothy Y. White, Sandra Crespo, and Marta Civil.

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Black women’s and girls’ persistence in the P–20 mathematics pipeline: Two decades of children, youth, and adult education research

Review of Research in Education

Nicole M Joseph, Meseret Hailu, Denise Boston

2017 Like other women and girls of color in the U.S. education system, Black1 women and girls negotiate and integrate multiple marginalized identities in mathematics. As such, this integrative review used critical race theory (CRT) and Black feminism as interpretive frames to explore factors that contribute to Black women’s and girls’ persistence in the mathematics pipeline and the role these factors play in shaping their academic outcomes.

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Out of the Classroom and Into the City: The Use of Field Trips as an Experiential Learning Tool in Teacher Education


Cara M Djonko-Moore, Nicole M Joseph

2016 This article explores the researcher’s use of field trips as an experiential learning tool in a social studies methods course as a pilot study. The researchers analyzed course evaluations and student reflection papers using document analysis to determine (a) the positive and negative aspects of utilizing field trips during the course, and (b) the ways the field trips advanced or limited pre-service teachers’ learning.

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